Colour Inspiration - Orange

Julia Laing colour colour theory orange

This is the first in a series of posts devoted to individual colours, mixing in a few facts with my personal opinions and some colour inspiration images. Orange is my starting point purely because I love its warm happy glow!

What do you think of orange? In the popularity contest of colours it's way down in the bottom 3 along with yellow and brown. However, amongst the people who like it, there are a select band who actually LOVE it!

Personally, the colour takes me right back to my 1970s childhood, where everything good had to be orange -  Spacehoppers, Irn Bru, Orange Penguin biscuits, Ford Capri cars, Crimplene, furnishing fabrics and wallpaper to name but a few! 

Peach Wool Birdie Brooch Available HERE.

A Few Orange Facts

Did you know, orange is the only colour of the spectrum to have been named after an object...? You've guessed it, the orange. 

orange still life

Orange Reflections, mixed media on paper (c)Julia Laing 2019

Orange is the colour between yellow and red on the spectrum of visible light. Human eyes perceive orange when observing light with a dominant wavelength between roughly 585 and 620 nanometres.

In painting and traditional colour theory, it is a secondary colour of pigments, created by mixing yellow and red.

orange-paintThe orange colour of carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, oranges, and many other fruits and vegetables comes from carotenes, a type of photosynthetic pigment. These pigments convert the light energy that the plants absorb from the sun into chemical energy for the plants' growth. autumn leaves

"Autumn leaves" by Aika Felt Works is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 

According to Wikipedia in Europe and America, surveys show that orange is the colour most associated with amusement, the unconventional, extroverts, warmth, fire, energy, activity, danger, taste and aroma, the Autumn season and particularly Halloween.

 

Warm colours like red and orange appear to advance forward. This is due to the wavelengths of warm colours being longer so the eye perceives them sooner than cooler colours such as blue and green. So a little orange can go a very long way!

How do you feel about orange now? Still not convinced...? I've searched the internet to find you some dazzling orange inspiration, which might just change your mind. Please click on the images to visit the original image source.

These cushions alone are enough to make anyone become a fan of orange! Claire Christie not only designed the fabric itself but made the cushions too. Her choice of contrasting blue piping is no accident - blue is opposite orange on the colour wheel, so placing them together adds even more vibrancy and POP!

Clarabella Christie cushions are available to buy here

 



Older Post Newer Post


  • Julia on

    Jennifer, Betty and Rachel, loving that you all appreciate orange so much! x

  • Rachel Archibald on

    Love orange, it’s my favourite colour – recently got an orange sofa!

  • Betty on

    Orange is such a positive and exciting colour! The colour of change. No wonder it was so popular in the sixties. Maybe it’s the one colour that’s named after a food as it’s most delicious! :)

  • Jennifer M on

    Reading your article I realise….Orange may in fact be my favourite colour! Alongside green of course with which it contrasts beautifully…currently adding some orange flowering ornamentals to my new garden (waaaaaay too much purple at present). Ah, I feel a warm cosy glow 🤗🤗🤗


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published